| Published by Emma Dunlevie
Russell Kennedy has been mentioned in the following report: 10th Annual Performance Report of the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target.
Russell Kennedy has 237 employees, 103 which are lawyers.
Russell Kennedy has been a signatory to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target since 2011. Since becoming a signatory, Russell Kennedy has often exceeded the target, and is proud of its active pro bono program.
Emma Dunlevie, Pro Bono Practice Manager, believes it is the firm’s focus on key areas of unmet legal need, such as refugee work, which makes the practice so successful, as well as the structural elements of the practice and community partnerships.
Underpinning Russell Kennedy’s approach is a formal structure – pro bono is a distinct practice area for the firm. It has a dedicated partner, manager, lawyer and a representative committee. Pro bono files are treated for all purposes in the same way as billable files.
At Russell Kennedy, pro bono work is considered an ethical duty and a critical element in a lawyer’s professional identity. It helps to make access to justice a reality for many people, is part of our commitment to the rule of law, and “marks lawyers as professionals rather than just practitioners or business people,” according to Ms Dunlevie.
Russell Kennedy also recognises the importance of a strong pro bono culture for the overall health of the firm and its lawyers. A justice-focused workplace offers psychological and morale-boosting benefits for practitioners, and opportunities for lawyers to expand their skills by working in new and often innovative areas and partnerships.
Russell Kennedy Principal John Corcoran said: “it is the strong pro bono culture at the firm which has resulted in a successful program built on longstanding, deep relationships with a handful of key partners and clients”.
Since February 2016, Russell Kennedy has been running a legal clinic in partnership with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to assist the high number of ‘Legacy Caseload’ asylum seekers prepare their protection visa applications before the 1 October 2017 deadline imposed by the government.
Russell Kennedy also has a long-standing partnership with Peninsula Community Legal Centre (PCLC), providing services that strengthen PCLC’s capability to deliver legal services to its clients.
Learn more about Russell Kennedy's Pro Bono legal work.